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Styrian MotoGP Results

A wild day in Austria marked the second half of the double-header at the Red Bull Ring that began with last weekend’s race. While many expected a repeat victory by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, that is not the way it played out.

The race began with Joan Mir (Suzuki) taking the lead early on and building a substantial, seemingly unbeatable gap to second place before a red flag forced a restart. The red flag resulted from a brake failure on the Yamaha ridden by Maverick Viñales, who was forced to jump off his bike at approximately 130 mph before it slammed the air fence at high speed. The destroyed air fence section required repair while the riders gathered themselves for the start of a 12-lap sprint. Amazingly, Viñales was unhurt.

Re-using his worn front tire while many competitors switched to new soft tires, Mir could only manage 4th place at the checkered flag. In front of him the podium battle was intense, and came down to the final corner. In that corner, the leading duo of Jack Miller (Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (KTM) drifted wide while Miguel Oliveira (KTM) sliced through on the inside to pass them both and take the win. Miller crossed the finish line in second with Espargaro third.

The second win ever for KTM at the MotoGP level marked the first MotoGP win for Oliveira and his native country of Portugal.

Points leader Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) again had a mediocre result (13th), but manages to leave the Red Bull Ring still in first place in the championship points. You can find full race results here. For additional details, visit the official MotoGP site.

62 Comments

  1. Mick says:

    I don’t understand why so many feel that if Márquez were on the grid that he would naturally be winning. Honda’s bike isn’t looking the greatest these days. It may have fallen behind while some of the other manufacturers seem to have whipped up a double shot of secret sauce.

    Who is to say that Márquez, who seemed to have both a good bike and a lack of strong challengers for a while, doesn’t revert to old Marquez who binned it fairly often by riding too hard.

    You know, sort of like he did in his last race earlier this year.

    That’s racing. He’s just Marc Márquez. He’s not Chuck Norris.

  2. Provologna says:

    Did anyone else notice the irony that the rider for the Austrian KTM team won a German BMW M4 automobile? (Commemorating the 900th race of the motorcycle GP series.)

    Earlier there was a type of truce wherein KTM dominated off-road, while BMW owned the street bike genres. A Beemer dealer shared with me that KTM considered it a breach of trust when BMW released their high performance 450 single off road bike, which KTM answered by releasing several ultra high performance street models. Doesn’t KTM sell a touring kit for one of their open class V-twins?

    You have to love that Austria’s KTM won a race in the highest performing pavement series, where BMW doesn’t even compete.

    • Dave says:

      The BMW M4 (and Toyota Supra) are manufactured under contract by Magna-Steyr, in Austria. That’s the closest thing to an Austrian car for a prize, I guess.

      I’m calling BS on the BMW/KTM truce..

    • fred says:

      No irony. BMW has been giving away cars at MotoGP races for quite a while, even though they have no bikes on the grid.

  3. Steve M says:

    Take MM off the Honda and the results are really telling- that guy is nuts. Take any driver and swap seats with Lewis in the Mercedes and they will immediately finish in the top two.

  4. fred says:

    Watching people fall all over themselves saying how wonderful the racing is with Marc on the track just confirms just how amazing Marc’s career and dominance have been. He’s not beating no-talent chumps, but regularly out-rides some pretty terrific riders on incredible machines.

    LOL

    • Provologna says:

      Just to confirm: you meant “with Marc off the track” right?

      No one who challenges MM’s past race craft is taken seriously.

      I seemed to enjoy prior riders who dominated similarly. The only GP Champion I ever personally met was Kevin Schwantz, whom I perceived as a nice, humble, and sincere person. I never met nor shall MM. But comparing my perception vs. that of every other rider (God forbid even Jorge Lorenzo), my guess is that MM’s humility is inversely proportional to his prior race craft.

      I suspect his almost constant past success combined with being the youngest ever champion may correlate to my perception. MM has never been humble because he was so successful, and I suspect he does not value humility. Instead, MM seems to have an entitled, self-centered attitude that I find off-putting.

      Others are well entitled to perceptions opposite mine.

      The following is absolutely not meant to pick on you, but rather only to use it as a convenient example at hand. I have noticed that MM fans, when referring to his success, always refer to it in the present tense, just like you did here: “He’s not beating no-talent chumps, but regularly out-rides some pretty terrific riders on incredible machines.”

      Strictly speaking the above is false. Changing the verb tense from present to past makes it true. This year, for unknown reason, possibly hubris, MM crashed himself out of Championship contention. (If MM did not crash, his passing Maverick would not have been hubris; but he did crash. If that pass attempt was not hubris, I’m open to being convinced.)

      • fred says:

        Yes, “off”, not “on”. Still disagree with most of what you said. Marc seems to be a good person. Clean spoken, loves his family, hard-working. Like Casey’s bout with lactose intolerance, the reason Marc isn’t winning is not due to a lack of superior talent, but to physical issues not currently within his control. Like Nicky, whoever wins this year will have a hard time defending/repeating in 2021.

    • mickey says:

      Yep, this is his era.

      others have had eras like this as well.

  5. VLJ says:

    Honest question here…

    If someone had told you before this season started that KTM would win two of the first five races, and Pol Espargaro wouldn’t take either victory, what would you have said?

    For that matter, if someone told you on Friday that neither Pol nor Brad Binder would win this second race in Austria, what odds would you have given on a KTM victory?

    • Provologna says:

      Great points! Can you imagine the odds/profit if you bet $100 on Miguel Oliveira? Drinks on him.

      Can you bet MotoGP? Monaco? I don’t think Vegas touches motorcycle racing, but please correct me if it does.

      • PABLO says:

        It was paying $17 for the win. Only had $10 on him though 🙁 Still not a bad return i guess.
        Binder was paying $35 when he won. The bookies defently didnt see that comming 🙂

  6. mickey says:

    Remember P Espargaro would have (most likely..he had a 2 1/2 sec lead) won last weeks race if not for the red flag incident with JZ.He has put a lot of development work into the KTM. Would have been nice to see him rewarded for that.

    As far as KTM goes, lets see how they do at other tracks, which is exactly what P Espargaro said.

    I was really rooting for Mir and Nakagami this race. Too bad about the red flag this week too. Would have been nice to see Mir’s and Nakagami’s efforts rewarded as well.

    The racing for me is not as interesting without MM. Just not the same without the best rider out there. I don’t care who wins, I enjoy a good race, and I enjoy seeing the best in the world do what they do best. I do enjoy other riders on the podium. But right now all we are seeing is the best of the rest. Just goes to show how good Marquez really is.

    Anyway brilliant move by Oliveria on Jumping Jack and Pol in that last corner. See you can go inside when other riders go wide, as long as the wide guys don’t come back into the racing line.

    • Jeremy says:

      I feel for Mir and Nakagami, too. Mir seems to be really coming into his own. And Nakagami has taken a huge step forward with his riding since Marquez’s data techs have been working with him during Marc’s absence.

  7. SharkGuitar says:

    I remember the last two years when some were on here saying “KTM will never win anything. They should just hang it up…”.

    I replied with Red Bull as a sponsor, don’t count them out.
    If anything, they will begin grabbing podiums and maybe even a win or two.
    Well I hate to say I told ya so, but…

    This is a blast to watch!!!

    • Provologna says:

      Mea culpa! That was me Re. KTM. When I miss, I like to go down in flames!

      On a different subject: a fellow Ossie interviewed Miller post race: https://www.motogp.com/en/videos/2020/08/23/miller-it-reminded-me-of-the-old-days-in-australia/341352

      There’s a 2-3 week break to the next race, long enough for Jack to fly home to Oz for a well deserved break. At the end Jack says, “Lookin’ forward to gettin’ home, and uh, seeing the dog an’ what not…”

      What dog owner can’t relate to that? If Jack was attached to a human significant other, he may be available now, if you can separate him from his dog…

      On the last turn, did Jack turn wider than necessary, solely to slow Pol, which left the inside door wide open for Miguel Oliveira? Did Jack mentally err, directly and unnecessarily causing him to finish 2nd instead of 1st? Or did both Jack and Pol just break too late?

      • mickey says:

        Jack was trying to block pass Pol out, leaving himself the inside straighter line to the finish, but had no idea that Oliveria was that close and ready to pounce.

      • Dave says:

        I think it’s #3 given how strange their lines turned out, though I don’t think either was watching Olivera closely enough, either. He had no trouble being close enough, despite the braking fight Pol and Jack were having into the last turn.

  8. Tom Reece says:

    Wow, I thought KTM’s first was a fluke, but they are clearly for real.

  9. Spoone says:

    One thing for certain is that the loss of Marquez has shown the depth of actual talent in the field. The racing is better for his absence, hands down.

    Why are the Honda’s so far down the ranks without him? Maybe Honda’s become something akin to Ducati? “It’s all about the machine” has been the mantra for both companies. Once they have a rider who can make an otherwise bad bike work, they hang to them as long as they can..until the rider gets sick of it. (Rossi/Honda, Stoner/Ducati, etc..)

    Kudos to KTM for scooping a good development rider *and listening to him*.. Their bike is definitely on par. And further kudos to their riders, TWO of whom have won GP’s. (Not just the same guy, over and over, ad nauseum..)

    • VFRMarc says:

      The corollary to your opening comment would be that Marquez has been so good that the depth of field hasn’t mattered. I agree that his absence has made for a better, or at least a more interesting, racing season though.

  10. Joel says:

    Who knew there is so much talent in the MotoGP ranks? Maybe the absence of MM does make for better racing, or at least more balanced racing. It certainly has stopped the race commentators from gushing ALL the time about Marquez. I wish him well but this is the best racing season I’ve seen since 2012. I know you are all thinking this . . .

    • Motoman says:

      That first sentence is a trick question, right?

    • Dave says:

      We’ve always know there was this much talent in MotoGP, it’s just less noticeable when they’re back in 7th-15th place. Now that the KTM is coming forward, the Ducati is working well for most teams and Yamaha and Honda are lost, we get to see it on camera a lot more.

      • Joel says:

        Agree Dave! The past few years of ‘MarquezGP’ has been boring. Most races are the same. MM gets pole. MM takes the lead. MM extends his lead. MM wins the race. Commentators fall all over themselves talking about MM. I’m just a fan of the amazing riders and teams that are not always at the front.

        • joe b says:

          So when someone dominates winning, like Rossi, or Stoner, or Marquez, the races are boring? and you dont want to watch them? wow, pretty lame to look at the world that way.

          • Joel says:

            Yep, I’m sure I’ll feel really lame when I renew my annual MotoGP streaming subscription and watch all the races regardless of who is winning.

      • mickey says:

        If Yamaha wasn’t having such horrible issues with motors failing, clutches failing, and brakes burning up, there would no doubt be 3 or 4 Yamahas inside that top 6 and the rest would still be back in 7th to 15th

        Like I said, best of the rest.

        • VLJ says:

          And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that Yamaha recently lowered the RPM ceiling on their already-underpowered motor. The slight increase in top-end power their engineers achieved during the offseason has already been ratcheted right back down, to where their power deficit is now even greater than it was last year, especially with KTM, Honda, and Suzuki all having increased their engine performance this season.

          The Yamaha is easily the slowest bike on the grid, by a wide margin. Even the Aprilia is faster. Because of this, Yamaha riders have to ride so much harder and take so many more chances than the riders of the all-powerful Ducatis and KTMs. It is so easy for a Ducati rider to bide his time, save his tires, and blow right on by a Yamaha rider, without breaking a sweat. For a Yamaha rider to pass a Ducati or KTM, he has to ride the wheels off of the thing just to stay close, then he has to pick just the right spot to try a daring overtake, knowing full well that if he can’t immediately pull a sizable gap on his opponent he will just get swallowed right back up again as soon as they hit the next straight.

          It’s been this way for years now. It has to me monumentally frustrating.

          • Dave says:

            The Yamaha has often been faster than he Ducati on lap times. It carries more corner speed. The problem is that it and to maybe a lesser degree, the Suzuki are the only bikes that run like they do and it does make it hard to pass, because you can’t carry your corner speed with a slower but more powerful bike holding you up. It’s true that they do have fewer “fighting” options but for the past few years they’ve had the overall best bike with all 4 finishing in the top 10 of the standings.

          • Jeremy says:

            I’d argue Honda has the best overall bike. It apparently just takes a race genius to put the bike’s genius on display. But, IMO, I think that is how the game should be played. Match the finest warriors to the finest weapon. The riders that keep cutting themselves with the blade don’t deserve the sword.

            No point in building a bike that many riders can ride well if none of them can take the bike to a championship.

          • VLJ says:

            The Yamaha often has the best single-lap lap times in qualifying, and on a clear track, but it struggles during the race. It needs that clear track to maintain momentum. As soon as its rhythm is interrupted in traffic, it’s in trouble. It doesn’t have the power to pass anyone on the straights, not even with a slipstream. It can’t hold anyone off on the straights. Coming out of corners, it doesn’t have the acceleration to blitz anyone. It’s particularly hard on tires, which is why it often struggles more than the others do late in races, because its only advantage is when it’s on the side of the tire, so its rider has to work his tires much harder each lap than the opponents work theirs.

            The Yamaha is supposedly the easiest bike to ride—”Slow bikes always handle well.”- Rob Muzzy—but that no longer equates to wins and championships. In order to have a realistic opportunity to compete for the win every race, Yamaha must give the M1 more (reliable) power everywhere on the tach, and especially on top.

  11. Hot Dog says:

    Who’d have thought that KTM would be as good as they are this year? Then again, who’d have thought that Yamaha would be the pooch they are this year? The video feed is fantastic, Dorna has got it down to a science.

  12. J Wilson says:

    What an unbelievable two weeks for MGP at the ‘Red Flag Ring’, and thank heavens no one seriously hurt. Unreal to see MV step off the M1 like that, but obviously beats riding it into the catch fencing, but what a move.

    Unfortunate for MM, but honestly I get tired of racing when one guy wins every race, and with him laid up, what a dogfight with new faces it’s all turned into. What an amazing two weeks.

  13. Jeremy says:

    Man what a crazy race. What a crazy season! I feel for Mir and Nakagami. They really had that race dialed before the red flag. But credit to Olivera for the win and to Pol and Jack for battling it out to the end. The KTM had made such a quantum leap this year it’s almost unbelievable. I heard Olivera in an interview giving Pedrosa much of the credit for the bike’s newfound rideability.

    I bet Yamaha can’t wait to move on to the next round and put this chapter behind them. What’s with the braking problems? I think every bike on the grid is using the Brembos? The Yamahas must be baking the fluid somehow to have these kinds of issues. What else would cause it?

    • pablo says:

      I was wondering the same thing about the braking issue and assumed it must have been human error in that a mechanic has fitted something correctly or that a component has failed due to a manufacturing issue. I hope Yamaha explain what happened at some point.

      • Jeremy says:

        I just heard in a podcast that Brembo had sent a tech bulletin out to all the teams before this race that they should be using Brembo’s latest system for this track and that Brembo would not assume any responsibility for those who failed to heed their warning.

        Vinales was the only rider (or maybe the only Yamaha rider, I can’t recall) that chose not to take the advice.

  14. fred says:

    I would be in favor of a change in the red-flag rules. Either no changes to the bikes, or everybody gets fresh tires. Mir & Nakagami were cheated out of their hard work.

    • Dave says:

      The issue in this case is the tire allotment. I am assuming that Mir was using his last medium compound and decided not to use a soft (or maybe he’d used those in practice..). He managed 4th in the end, which is commendable.

      Looked like Nakagami flubbed the start. I don’t know what his tire situation was.

    • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

      As Dave says, tire allotment is an issue. Bridgestone only brings a set number of tires for each rider. If a rider uses all but 1 of a tire set aside for race day, there isn’t one left for a fresh restart.

      Using a different tire can be a lot more headaches. Soft vs Medium vs hard isn’t necessarily a compound change. The difference is mostly carcass stiffness. Because of that, at best they’re changing clickers on the suspension. At worst, they may also have to change all the chassis adjustment points for different attitude because of the flexier soft carcass. Not worth the risk for a red flag restart especially since the bike will feel a lot different to the rider and will have to figure out how to ride it all over.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        Good analysis.

      • VLJ says:

        The issue here wasn’t about the stiffness of the carcass or the stickiness of the compound. It was about tread ware. Mir’s front tire was shot. There is a reason that everyone who could switch to fresh rubber for the restart did exactly that, and, IIRC, they all changed to fresh softs.

        Mir would have done so, as well, and likely would have won the short sprint race too. He had the first race in the bag, and immediately jumped out to the lead in the restarted race before his toasted tire did him in.

        It’s a stupid rule. If a red flag forces a restart, do not create an uneven playing field by preventing some riders from being able to switch to fresh rubber while others do so. Allow for an extra allocation under certain circumstances beyond a rider’s control, such as this sort of red-flag situation, or a weather-driven flag-to-flag race.

        • Dave says:

          It’s not a stupid rule, it just didn’t benefit Mir in this instance. Others had leftover tires, or setups that would work with the soft compound (like Miller). The rule doesn’t exist to make red-flag restarts more unpredictable. Mir chose to ride his worn front tire or he was forced to by inadequate allocation planning of his team. It’s the same for everyone.

          • VLJ says:

            And it’s a stupid rule for everyone. When unforeseen events occur that are beyond the riders’ control, do not punish those riders. Moreover, don’t force them into unsafe conditions, such as, say, making them use a totally shot tire in a thirteen-lap sprint race against a field of riders using fresh, soft rubber.

            Why even have a limited allocation? Who does that benefit? Let them run whatever works best for a given condition. It’s MotoGP, not local club racing.

          • Dave says:

            The rule is to control costs for the tire supplier and teams and the spec rubber makes the competition more fair for teams of varying means. Just like every other equipment rule, it’s an opportunity for those who can work within its framework better.

            Mir wasn’t any less safe on his worn tire than he would have been if the race hadn’t been red-flagged, he was just at a competitive disadvantage. This experience will urge his team to work out a better tire allotment strategy.

          • VLJ says:

            On the contrary, of course Mir was quite a bit less safe trying to keep up with riders on fresh, soft tires while he was slipping around on totally trashed Mediums. The object of racing is to keep up with and hopefully go faster than your opponent. Trying to do so when they’re on fresh rubber and you’re on spent rubber means you either have to give up the chase or take a much greater safety risk.

            Why? Again, this is MotoGP, not local club racing. These are multi-million-dollar prototype machines. This is the pinnacle of the sport. Is it really going to bust the bank or create a competitive imbalance by allowing every team an extra set of each type of tire, specifically for unique situations such as this?

            No, it won’t. Of course it won’t. It’s a nonissue. A single extra tire allocation, compared to a MotoGP team’s overall budget?

            Barely a drop in the bucket. Just do it. There is literally no good reason not to.

          • Jeremy says:

            I don’t like the rule. In my opinion, I think the bikes need to line up on the grid exactly as they were when the flag was thrown. No fresh tires, no suspension tweaks. The only exception would be if someone MUST get new tires (if there was oil on the track for example that got on the tires.) But in that case, I think everyone should get new tires. It’s senseless for a team to hold a pair of tires in reserve “just in case” there is a red flag.

            It’s not the end of the world (well, unless you are Mir or potentially Espargaro the week before) but I think the rule is pretty stupid as is.

          • VLJ says:

            Jeremy, yep, I’d go for that. Either all the riders have to remain on the same worn tires from before the race stoppage, or they all get to switch to fresh ones, tire allotments be damned.

            A level playing field, either way. Safer, either way.

          • Dave says:

            Well, them’r the rules. Everyone knew them and everyone had the fresh experience of a red-flag restart from the week prior. It’s not like Mir’s race was a bust, he finished 4th, far better than his average finish in the premier class since he’s been here.

            It’s easy to say “damn be the costs” but we’ve seen that movie. It almost ended.

          • VLJ says:

            Dave, come on. Seriously? Mir had his maiden MotoGP win in the bag, and you think being punted all the way off of the podium to an invisible fourth-place finish through no fault of his own wasn’t a bust?

            Also, in this case, yes, it’s easy to say costs be damned. We’re only talking about one extra set of tires, which, to a MotoGP team, is less than they spend on catering that afternoon’s lunch. Whatever the reason for not allowing one extra tire per team in MotoGP, the financial strain that one extra tire would place on each team is absolutely not the issue.

      • Phil says:

        You mean Michelins not Bridgestones, no?

  15. bmbktmracer says:

    Anyone ever see a rider jumping off a motorcycle due to failed brakes before? First time I’ve seen that. Unbelievable kick in the dingles for Vinales, but especially for Mir and Nakagami. The Japanese fellow has really made strides as of late. Very impressive. Congrats to Oliveira. If he hadn’t had unfortunate run-ins with fellow KTM riders he’d be right there in the points mix.

    • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

      Yep, seen it a few times over the decades (jumping off a bike on fire too). Especially back when racers were running DOT 3 fluids and fixed rotors with high iron content. The iron could take the heat but it also retained it more and transferred it to the pads and pistons so it would boil the fluid over the course of a race.

      Of course, in modern times it’s rare. I don’t know what MotoGP bikes run. CF rotors require heat so possibly 5.1 or 5.1 ESP.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Loving MotoGP this year. Must watch list, for sure.

  17. Goose Lavel says:

    What a great race! Perfect move by Oliveria, caught the two leaders in battle, both unaware and he passed both.

    So glad MM is out.